Mar 312012
 
Celebrating health

Once a year Lausanne hosts a big natural/holistic medicine fair called “Mednat.”  I went a couple of years ago and picked up some essential oils that smelled like the pine forests back in New Mexico. This year, the headline promised an “Agrobiorama Expo” which, to me, sounded like organic farm type stuff. (“Bio” is French for organic.) Maybe the woman with heavy green eye shadow and ivy growing in her hair on the expo’s homepage should have clued me in … Thanks to my friend Matt, who gave me a copy of “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer, I can no longer eat factory farmed meat (even in Switzerland, where rules and regulations are at least 300% stricter than in the US). So, thinking I would find some sources of organic produce, chickens, eggs and beef, I paid the 17-franc entry fee.

Mar 262012
 
Adventures in fermentation

I’m making friends with my microbiome. Seems the prudent thing to do. I don’t want it to decide that this body is badly managed and thus a waste of time, and chuck it for a healthier version. No, not just yet. I have some stuff to write still. So I’m treating my gut flora to a microbial playdate. I want the symbiotic ecosystem that is my body to function optimally. Not long ago in one of my internet ramblings I stumbled upon kefir, a fermented milk product originating long, long ago in the Caucasus. The word kefir (pronounced keh-fear) is related to the Turkish word keif, which means “feel good.” Kefir is a drinkable probiotic made with either water or milk using a gelatinous matrix of yeast and bacteria that are curiously called “grains.” (They have no relation whatsover to real grains like wheat or oats.)

Mar 072012
 
The seven-year itch

Little things have been bugging me lately. This post is pretty snarky, so please bear with me and try to read it all the way to the end. I went to see a movie last weekend. Before the previews start, there’s an ad featuring a close-up image of the torso of a reclined woman wearing a dark brown bikini. She has one arm raised over her head, revealing her armpit, and the other hand is holding an ice cream bar. On her left breast there’s a light brown smudge that looks like spilled chocolate ice cream, until you look closer and realize it’s a palm tree. This ad has preceded every single movie I’ve watched in Switzerland, the whole time we’ve lived here. I can’t believe it. You’d think that by now they would have changed the ad, particularly since it’s so awful.